December 10, 2019

Top Ten Thanksgiving Risks …

Sick of Turkey yet?

Funny Turkey

One occupational peril of being a claims person is that we see the potential for risks, accidents and claims everywhere. Our national day of thanks is no exception. While the holiday is meant to be a time of family reunion and gratitude for blessings in our lives, it has morphed into another pre-Christmas retail and consumer-buying orgy. In turn, this has spawned a host of turkey day related risks and perils which, as claim professionals, we should ponder:

1.  Fires from turkey fryers. Catching fire is not just a sequel to the first installment of the “Hunger Games” trilogy. It also results from turkey fryers. Fried turkey is delicious (or so I hear) but not so tasty are the aftereffects of hot spilled grease and fires which often occur in connection with these devices.

2.  Food-borne illness claims from eating under-cooked turkey or other foods left out at room temperature too long. You do not want guests getting sick from salmonella or some other pathogen. Your hospitality — not food borne illness — should be “the gift that keeps on giving.”

3.  Parking lot car collisions in crowded spaces. Maybe you’re one of those people who drives around and around, looking for the ideal parking space. Better still, park in one of the peripheral or remote areas and walk to the store front. Chances are, the extra exercise and burning of calories will do you good, particularly during the Thanksgiving weekend.

4.  Assault and battery claims from testy retail customers coming to blows while fighting and squabbling over merchandise.”Hey — I saw the PS4 system first!!!” Fortunately, in 2013 there appears to be no “it” toy that everyone must have, like the Beanie Babies of yore. Nevertheless, some coveted items are in short supply. Both Xbox and Sony are rolling out new game consoles, coincidentally time for Christmas release. Occasionally, tempers fray when door-busting consumers compete for one of the limited supply of merchandise that they MUST have. This spawns liability claims against retailers for failure to have adequate security.

5.  Increased premises liability claims for retailers dealing with high volume of customer traffic.  Slips, trips and falls increase. 

6.  Dram shop liability by restaurants and bars serving one-too-many to those who have clearly had enough.

7.  Assaults by family members upon each other while being cooped up in the same space due to family obligations. People, this is why they put NFL football on TV during Thanksgiving Day.   Starting at midday and ending at around 11:30 PM, you have a built-in reason to distract yourself from interacting with family members who you may only see once a year.

8.  Increased vehicular accidents from clogged roads and frayed nerves as drivers strive to go over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house.  The National Safety Commission reports that Thanksgiving is the most traveled holiday period of the year with almost 90% of those traveling doing so by car. Of course, you can also travel by plane but…

oh well, never mind!

9.  Personal health risks from over-eating on Thanksgiving … and throughout the holiday season.  Tip: moderate your portions or run around the block a few times before tackling that slice of pumpkin pie topped with Cool Whip.

10.  Gambling losses .. IF you bet on the Detroit Lions, except in 2013, when they actually won for the first time in years!

If you successfully navigate Thanksgiving without stumbling on one of these risks, congratulations!

There’s always the

Christmas season!

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